Successful small businesses generally want to expand. But expanding a business doesn’t simply mean expanding the range of products and services or expanding the target market. In fact, there are some critical physical changes that need to occur. These, of course, include increasing your staff complement or, if you’re a one man show right now, you had better get cracking on hiring some staff. Once you have the staff you need you will also need the space in which they can work. Also, the working space cannot be cramped as then you will find you have a team that is unsatisfied. What they lack in productivity they will have in frustration. So in order to ensure that your staff feel comfortable, motivated and so on, you need to get your head around some ergonomic factors that are paramount to your staff’s happiness.


Of course, there are simple human needs that will need to be attended to in any space you decide on for you working environment. Running water, amenities, fresh air and so on. If you really want to find out what the best working environment includes, then once you’re done with the ergonomic studies, consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory. You’ll find all the points you need to bear in mind in order to ensure your staff are happy and healthy.


Shopping around for a new space in which to house your bigger business and new staff members is a really tricky exercise. You will need to up the ante on security too. If you have a CCTV system in place you can rest assured you’ll always know what’s happening throughout the work day. It’s best to ensure you can easily view the cameras at all times too so you will need to invest in a quality video wall controller. At any given point in the day you should be able to see what your staff and customers are doing on your premises. This is important for both offices and retail stores.


Here are three basic things to consider when shopping for the right workspace


Fresh and clean

The new space must look and feel positive so be on the lookout for spaces that maximise natural lighting and have enough windows for fresh air to enter the room. By choosing a space that is dark because there are few windows you are doing yourself a disservice. Your staff members will prefer being able to see outside, to enjoy the afternoon sunlight and to breathe in fresh air as opposed to the air conditioner.


Size matters

You will need to look for the correct size too. The square meterage is important as when you decide on furnishings they obviously need to be able to fit in the space. What’s more your average desk is not the same size as a school desk but rather two or three times bigger than that. Your staff will appreciate having their own space demarcated which is big enough for them to nestle down and make themselves comfortable.


Easy access

No matter who you’ve employed, it is always a good idea to choose an office that they can comfortably access. Some people use public transport and some will drive their own personal cars. But no matter how they get around, they will arrive at work very flustered and negative every day if getting to work causes them major stress. Consider where the nearest train or bus stops are and make sure your staff members can find parking. Even off street parking will do just as long as there is an opportunity to find somewhere to safely leave their vehicle.


No bad neighbours

Do some research on the building beforehand and find out who is in the office or space next door. If you are a company who works with overseas clients, which means your hours are often throughout the night, then you cannot be located above, next to or behind a nightclub. Also, if you are running a sales floor and your company culture is loud and your people are the “work hard, play hard” type then your neighbours cannot be a wellness sanctuary, yoga or meditation studio. Commercial properties can be difficult to find but acquiring a great space and landing up in a constant battle with neighbours will be no good.


As you might be able to tell, there’s a lot that goes into choosing a new office space. But it’s worth your time to make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. If you sign a lease and you end up extremely unhappy in the space, it will be even more difficult to get out of the agreement. You are likely to lose money in the process too.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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